Design pacesetter’s formula

Interior design has become an intricate ‘inside job’ that demands an immense amount of diligent research, says Australia’s biggest developer of apartments.

The Meriton group says the days of just picking colours and fittings that ‘look nice’ have long since passed.

Interior designer Nicole Sullivan says Meriton regards itself as the pacesetter in the design of apartment interiors.

“To maintain that role we forever are striving to get better.

“We aim to be not just a pacesetter, but a trendsetter.”

Nicole says Meriton, which builds more than 2000 apartments a year, operates what is virtually a design laboratory system.

“We go through an extensive research phase for each project, looking at international influences, at what our competitors are doing, and at ideas that are surfacing online.

“We also get presented daily with the latest and greatest products.

“We are not just looking at what’s in vogue, but at trends that are up and coming that we can release into our developments.”

Nicole says that design concepts are ‘workshopped’ before options are narrowed down.

“We might start our final design by picking the main feature element in the bathrooms or kitchen and building the rest of the finishes around that.

“The exterior facades of our developments also are becoming quite intricate so sometimes we pull elements from the building’s exterior into the apartments or common areas.”Ms Sullivan says that Meriton strives not only to offer points of difference from its competitors but also within its own ‘Meriton market’.

“We can have six or more developments for sale at one time so we have to keep pushing designs to the next level to ensure we don’t become redundant or uninspiring.”

Nicole says the latest Meriton interior designs include things such as black or brass tapware, wall-hung toilets and basins, large-format tiling, pendant lights, and light dimmers.She says that Meriton strives to provide buyers with apartments that offer lots of natural light, plenty of storage space, high ceilings, quality carpets and tiles, separate laundry areas, thick Caesarstone benchtops, and gas to kitchens.“Buyer expectations are for ever rising and we try to not just meet those but to exceed them.

“That means providing ducted air-conditioning instead of wall-mounted systems, luxury tapware, frameless glass in showers, and soft-closing drawers and doors in kitchens, among other things.”

Nicole says Meriton ‘delivers’ apartments that give owners ample scope to add their own interior enhancements.

These can range from wallpaper on a feature wall, a statement-making large bedhead, a large hero art-piece in the living-dining area, technology upgrades for touchscreen and bar stools to the kitchen island to create a second eating area and gathering space for guests.

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